Archive | February, 2016

How Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing Help Each Other

29 Feb

Social media marketing and email marketing are among the most common online marketing strategies that are employed across the globe. With the arrival of internet marketing, there have been a lot of changes in the marketing front. There are so many ‘new’ things that have been added, whereas other things have been phased out. Take for instance, how many companies are investing heavily in the use of posters to market their products? There are just a few of them, but you will find thousands of online banners being posted on one site or another.

A majority of marketers employ social media sites and social media management software for their marketing strategies. It is not exactly the easiest way to promote your product but then, it is very cheap. It also brings in lots of results. People are constantly on their phones and tablets. Therefore, it will take a miracle for them to see the banners when you hang them on some building, or over some road. Post the banner on social media and you will capture the attention of millions of people across the globe.

It is not enough to capture their attention; you have to draw them to your site and keep them there for as long as is possible. When you maintain communication with your prospective customers, you will definitely get conversions at some point. This is where you make use of both social media marketing and email marketing. Social media marketing can help you grow a very large email database. Email marketing can help you grow your social media campaigns. It is one relationship that you should try as much as possible to tap into.

Cultivating a healthy email database

One thing that you will love most about email marketing is that it can be as personal as you would want it to be. The only thing you should beware of is spamming people’s inboxes. You do not want to people to mark your mail as spam. This means that you should send the relevant emails while sticking to a schedule. Social media comes in to help you grow a relationship with these individuals.

It is one thing to have a large database containing emails of thousands of prospective clients, and it is another totally different thing to be able to use it properly. This is where database administrators come in to help out. Many people tend to assume that the work of a database administrator is to grow and protect the database but this is not the case. There are so many ways that a DBA can help you as you develop your database. They will be very instrumental in the database design stage, all through to the maintenance and management.

Managing the data that is coming into the database, as well as that which is stored in the database is not exactly the easiest of tasks. It is important to have an expert who will capture the right content as it comes into your database and make sure that you are able to achieve the best results at all times. Database management will be such an effortless task if you have the best DBA backing you up.

The social media platforms that you have employed in your business will be a good place to capture the most relevant individuals who will help market your business. There is no way you will benefit by sending a fashion designer emails concerning your business that deals with landscaping and renting lawn mowers. These individuals are just not relevant to your business at all. They will not help at all in growing the business.

Your database should contain details concerning your prospects. There are things that they are constantly posting online. Check the general theme of their posts and what they share on their social media profiles. This will be of great help in determining the individuals who are going to be of most help to your branding efforts and online marketing activities. It will also help you as you are creating your email marketing strategy. The marketing will be more focused and will thus bring in better results.

Points worth keeping in mind

When it comes to social media marketing, and even email marketing, there are several things that you need to keep in mind at all times. These include:

  • Timing

Timing is everything in business. If you do not work according to the rules of time, you will be very disappointed. To get the most conversions when you are dealing with social media marketing and email marketing, you should make an effort to post content and send email messages at the right time. The perfect time to do this is when everyone seems to be online. During the lunch hours, early morning as people are commuting to work, and in the evening when they are trying to get home, you will find lots of people online. Posting content online at midnight does not attract a lot of attention.

  • Focus

What is it that you want your prospective customers to do? Give your marketing campaigns focus and they will bring in great returns. You have notified them that you have an offer for something like men’s fashion through the email. Therefore, what is it that you want them to do? Be clear, precise and straight to the point.

  • Schedule your mailing

The worst thing that can happen to you in your efforts to conduct online marketing is to be added to a person’s spam mail list. You do not want to go there. This usually happens when you send lots of email messages within a very short time and the content is not relevant to the individual. This is why you should employ social media to find out what people are interested in. Use this information in your email marketing and then employ a mailing schedule. It always helps when a person can almost guess when they will receive the next mail from you. Using social media marketing schedulers analyzes optimal times for posting and allows you to schedule in advance, or post on the spot.

Bottom line

Your business can achieve a lot from social media marketing and email marketing campaigns. It is important to make sure that you get in touch with a team of experts who are going to help your campaigns gain the success that they deserve. A database with people’s information will prove most beneficial in your online marketing efforts.

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6 Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch

22 Feb

The course of social media marketing never did run smooth. The top platforms now could disappear tomorrow, marketing strategies that worked previously could suddenly backfire and drive customers away. But with over 2 billion social network users around the globe — a number that leaps by double digit percentages every year—you can’t afford to take your ball and go home.

Keeping tabs on which way the wind is blowing, where your customers are going, and what they’re saying is the only way to stop the scramble to keep up and start getting ahead instead. Here are the top 5 social media trends we’ve identified, and you need to watch, in 2016.

1. Social media spend goes up

The major social media platforms are essentially torpedoing organic reach. Consumer use of ad blockers grew by 41 percent through 2015. What’s a brand to do?

Social media advertising is finally coming into its own, with ad spend reaching $23.68 billion worldwide in 2015. The major platforms have been sinking a lot of research and revenue into their advertising platforms, developing sophisticated new strategies to help brands to reach the right customers at the right time.

Similar to Twitter and Facebook’s sponsored posts, more platforms are blending ads seamlessly into the user’s experience. Plus segmentation has grown increasingly sophisticated — making your ads more relevant and click rates rise. Companies interested in being relevant to todays’ consumers will continue investing in social channels.

2. Specialized social networks will grow

Despite fierce competition, social networks will continue to bubble up, but now armed with new social and technology angles.

The search for innovative ways to connect users continues at a fierce pace. Affinity networking, the domain of apps likebeBee, is focused on merging business and social networking, allowing users worldwide who share the same professional or personal interests to connect through affinity groups. With 3rd-degree connections, beBee is challenging the established 2nd-degree connections freely available through platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Players like Periscope (snatched up by Twitter) and Meerkat are leveraging tech innovations to snag users—in this case, live streaming video, broadcast from around the world. And apps like Blab leverage that tech for live, interactive video chat. 

Some apps, like the recent blaze of glory Peach, hope that their eccentricity (using “magic words” to update, the ability to throw cake at other users) will not just get people buzzing, but give them a lasting edge.

Companies will also keep using established app concepts as stepping stones. Storehouse, a visual storytelling app, is hoping to take the basic Snapchat concept to the next level.

3. Word-of-mouth gains traction

With competition for organic visibility reaching Thunderdome proportions, companies need to uncover smarter — and cheaper — ways to reach their customers.

Companies are turning to employee social advocacy programs, setting their people loose on their own personal feeds to write and share updates about the company. Stats show it works — that content tends to show eight times the engagement with official company-branded marketing.

The need to get people talking will also mean a rise in the use of influencer marketing campaigns. Nailing down right person, with the credibility, expertise and relatability that get your target customer to take action, means a return of $6.50 for every buck spent.

4. Business gets personal

Since the birth of social media, users have tended to keep their business profiles and interactions separate from their personal ones — a natural separation of church and state that seemed to make sense. However, that division may be more erroneous than helpful since, as people pour themselves into their careers, the personal and business often spill over into one another, and make for important connections. New social networks like beBee are tapping into this, offering users a way to connect on many levels — by their work activities as well as by their personal interests. “Oh, you’re a devOps master and are into Minecraft? Sweet!”

5. eCommerce becomes surprisingly viable

Social media is already a huge influence on purchase decisions, but the U.S. has been far behind in the ability to monetize that word of mouth magic. China and Korea long ago figured out how to merge social and ecommerce, but U.S. companies are now catching up.

The incorporation of Buy buttons and functionality into sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Google are turning browsers into buyers — without ever leaving the app they’re in.

It’s an innovation that’s expanding potentially huge sales channels for marketers, powered by organic search, and eliminating extra clicks and open windows — fulfilling the average consumer’s love of both ease and instant gratification. Advertisers will also see a measurable boost in brand engagement, and, most usefully, more detailed, more extensive customer data to funnel back into testing and refining your ad strategy.

6. Marketing automation gets social

Marketing automation: this enterprise-grade marketing technology scaled to the SMB market has powerfully transformed marketing strategy and reach, and it’s an increasingly critical tool for maximizing and monetizing campaigns across channels.

It’s increasingly clear that the fundamental benefits of marketing automation — identifying, qualifying, converting, and growing customers — are especially powerful in the social media arena.

Automation allows you to scale social media engagement up without crowding out other more focus-intensive marketing tasks. Social media automation tools power prospecting, targeted content delivery (the messages your customers want, when they need them), and customer engagement. Metrics are seamlessly integrated into your marketing dashboard to track how social activity drives conversions and revenue, and help you continually refine your strategy to increase the ROI of your campaigns.

Social Media Tips for This Century

15 Feb

Social media marketing can definitely be a frustrating beast to attempt to tackle. But, as many businesses are learning, it is definitely worth the trouble put into the process. Social media, as we know it today, first got its start way back in 1994. Along the way, it has changed greatly and evolved into something grand and mysterious.

Before reaching the point we are at today, many others took on the task of paving the road for us. It was through their hard work and dedication that social media marketing was built, methods were developed and tricks discovered. But, no matter how much work they put into the process, we are still pushing forward, striving for even more and better tricks to take us into the future.

With a new year upon us, now is the best time to begin developing your own tricks for the coming year. With them, you will be able to know that you are doing everything you can do to stay ahead of your competition and make your social media marketing for 2016 the best yet. Here are a couple of things to get you started.

Social Media Events

Events are always a popular way for businesses to gain traction. You can see this in the physical world when businesses conduct annual sales or special events to draw customers into their stores. Some businesses even thrive solely on this principle. For example, businesses that sell makeup, jewelry and other fashion accessories do really well when they focus their attention around selling to specific groups of women that attend parties designated for their products.

This process has been proven successful for many years, but now you can also make it successful on social media. One of the best things about events like this is that your customers do not actually have to be present in the store during the event. Instead, they can complete all their business directly through your social media page or your online store. This simple process will make it more likely that they will make a purchase.

There are several things you can do to make your social media event even more powerful. First, make sure you develop hashtags to use whenever talking about the event. This hashtag should be something that is catchy and easy to remember. Also, make sure others who are attending your event know about the hashtag so they can use it as well.

You should also encourage the engagement of those who are attending your event. This is something you can do by offering prizes or awards for those who complete certain tasks or are fully engaged. You should also start early with the promotion process. Starting several weeks before the event, start sharing videos, images and content related to the event. This will help get your followers excited about what’s in store for them.

Engaging your Readers

One of the most important aspects of social media is that it is intended to bring people together. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to relate to someone through a computer screen. For this reason, many readers have a difficult time associating with businesses because they don’t see the people behind the name.

So, if you are really looking to improve your social media marketing campaign, get involved with your readers. Be engaged with them and have conversations with them on social media. If you see reviews posted online, be sure to thank the reviewer for their comments, even if they are bad. Even bad comments will help your business grow in the future, and they may actually show you some things you need to work on that you weren’t aware of.

Asking questions of your readers is one great way to get a conversation started. Do you have a new product that is coming out soon? Ask your readers about their opinion of the color of the product or the packaging. You can even ask the readers what they think of the product in general. Asking questions like, “What’s your thoughts on this product?” or “What do you like about this product?” can help you discover great things about what you will soon be releasing.

Real-time interactions are even better when you can manage it. One great option is to add a live chat button to your website. This allows your customers to ask questions whenever they need to, even if they aren’t in your stores. For your social media platforms, you can accommodate real-time interaction by hosting a live question and answer session. Customers will have the opportunity to ask you questions about your products and services that may be difficult to ask at another point in time.

Final Thoughts

Social media is powerful and can be the answer you were looking for regarding the question of how to advance your company. However, with all the competition that is available online, it can be difficult to discover all the best tricks and methods that will help your company shine. Because of this, you need to be diligent at finding tactics that work best for your company’s marketing strategy and goals.

These are just a couple of the tricks you should have up your sleeve if you want to use social media properly. Naturally, there are hundreds of other tricks that you could be learning too.

Simplify Your Social Media Marketing with These Five Tips!

8 Feb

Speed and simplicity are important for any social media marketing program.

But speed and simplicity are also the most difficult things to achieve in a social media marketing program.

Social media, like any other form of marketing, can become complex, cumbersome, and confusing, especially for entrepreneurs and small businesses who are trying to do it all themselves.

I’ve dealt with the confusion of social media myself, and helped other people cope with their frustration.

With some planning and effort you can achieve brilliant simplicity. Try this straightforward process to regain control of your social media marketing.

1. Create a schedule.

Social media works best when you make a schedule. This is especially important if your social media marketing program involves multiple platforms, multiple people, and discrete campaigns.

Here are my tactical tips for making a social media schedule that works:

  • Time. If you have a multi-member social media team, create a shared calendar using something like Google Calendar. Allow each team member to add and edit things, but appoint one person as the chief calendar keeper.
  • Tech. If you are using a social media automation tool with a calendar, use it instead of an external calendar. The more integration between your tools, the simpler your efforts become.
  • Taboo. Don’t be a slave to the schedule. Social media is about spontaneity, so feel free to try something unorthodox from time to time.

2. Use a social media automation tool.

If you do nothing else on this list, do this.

This point is worth the entire effort of your reading this article. Embracing this tip could save you years of your life (maybe), tons of frustration, and make you more effective. People will even start to like you more.

Smart people have made slick software to make social media simpler.

Social media automation can take an hour or two to set up and learn, but once you turn it on and let it start purring away, it will make your social media way sexier.

Here are the three most popular automation tools:

Subscription costs are negligible compared to the time you’ll save.

Pick a tool, and go!

3. Batch.

Social media can be an absolute monster.

It can take over your day, destroy your productivity, distract you from your work, and derail your well-laid plans.

Much of our frustration with social media revolves around the fact that it is everywhere, all the time, and endless!

A quick scroll through Instagram can turn into hours of mindless swiping. A brief check-in on Twitter might morph into a nightmare of notifications. An innocent glance at Facebook devolves into the click-click-click into the vacation pictures of someone you don’t even know.

I would tell you to “Be more disciplined” or “Stop it!” but that would be hypocritical.

Instead, I recommend batching. Batching is as simple as it is effective.

Here’s how Michael Hyatt defines it:

“Batch processing is the grouping of similar tasks that require similar resources in order to streamline their completion.”

To make this absolutely clear, you only do social media when you’re supposed to do social media.

Here are the tactical steps that I recommend:

  • Assign one (or two or whatever you need) hours for social media activities only.
  • Do all your social media activities within this single block of time.
  • When not on your social media hourlong task, disable notifications and turn off anything that could distract you to enter back into the social media vortex.

That’s it!

You can use batching to save time and mental effort on other things, too. The important concept to keep in mind is that you don’t have to do social media all day long.

Confine it. Put it in its slot. And let it stay there.

In other words, batch.

4. Find one graphic designer.

If you’re aware of social media strategy, I’m sure you know the power of visual content in social media.

How do you simplify your social media visuals?

Hire a single graphic designer who is skilled at social media. Use this individual alone to create all the graphics that you use on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

You may be surprised at how many graphical needs your social media program requires. From Linkedin covers to Facebook posts, the possibilities are endless.

Make sure your designer is skilled in the dark arts of social media image sizes. They change frequently, but are an important component of having stunning visuals in your social media.

5. If your audience isn’t on a social media platform, don’t waste your time on it.

Pro social media tip: You don’t need to be on every social media platform.

Gasp!

Why not?!

For one, your target audience might not be there. For another, you may not be very successful on that platform.

Copyblogger made waves when it decided to pull the plug on its Facebook page. Has it harmed their brand or destroyed their revenue? Apparently not.

Has it allowed them to achieve greater success, more simplicity? Probably so.

This is how they described their move:

“Copyblogger’s main focus is serving its audience. And if that audience wasn’t engaging on Facebook, then there was no real reason for us to pour energy into it. That’s energy we can put into other areas — ones you appreciate more.”

You can achieve simplicity by choosing what not to do as much as you can by choosing how to do.

Maybe it’s time to drop a social media channel from your schedule?

Conclusion

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay.

Your job is to be successful at it. Sometimes, the best way to do that is by helping to simplify it.

How have you chosen to simplify your social media marketing?

Visual Marketing Strategies That Boost Your SMM!

1 Feb

How your personal brand’s image is seen by others is important to your growth and sales. A mix of appealing images and video will not only increase engagement in your social media marketing, but will also establish credibility as your community shares your content.

The need for a brand to present unique and valuable visual images is important in today’s mobile-driven world. What works best are eye-catching components such as video, infographics, and images which project your message, and tell a story.

 

Your brand’s audience is looking for images that speak to their emotions, needs, and desires, which ultimately attract more leads who can be converted into sales. There are several types of visual content methods that can help you stand out:

  • A clear identity – People want to know right away what your brand is all about, and how you can help them. With clear messages tailored to your target market you won’t leave them guessing or moving on to the competition. Original, fresh content can go a long way in encouraging comments and shares or retweets on social media.
  • Short video messages – Lately video has become the main source of activity online, and brands who can provide a quick demonstration, tips, or an interesting story are getting the most reactions. Posting on a regular basis to social networks like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook will bring more interest and visibility.
  • Share your community’s content – A popular trend that has emerged puts customers in the image sharing control room as they are able to submit their photos to brands featuring their favorite products, food, feedback, and more. This is a fun way to engage your community and showcase what your company has to offer with trusted feedback from actual buyers.
  • Cross promote and schedule posts and tweets – Take full advantage of the platforms your audience is engaging on the most. This could include Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, ect. Share your images in a way that matches each network, and schedule content ahead of time with the use of software like Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, ect.

A picture or video can go a long way in conveying your brand’s message. It’s important to be consistent as well as allowing room for having fun with what you are creating as your audience will pick up on this as well. Don’t be afraid in using a bit of humor in some of your images or video, and remember to create something unique and not from stock images.